1931: Frank Peternell Farm, Brockway Township, Stearns County, Minnesota. Gust Schuneman, engineer.
703 County Road 2 South St. Stephen, Minnesota 56375
This 80 HP Case steam engine, serial number 30357, was purchased
'new' in 1917 by my grandfather, Frank Vouk, of Brockway
Township, Stearns County, Minnesota, in company with his engineer,
August (Gust) Schuneman. It was shipped by rail from the Case
Distribution Center in Minneapolis to St. Cloud, Minnesota, and
driven the fourteen miles to Frank's farm in what was to become
the village, and later the city of St. Stephen. When Gust had to
leave for the World War, Frank bought out his share.
I put the quotes on the word 'new' in the above
paragraph because sometime after the purchase a man wrote to Frank
and asked how he liked the engine, because he said it had been
repossessed from him. The inference was that the distributorship
had taken it, cleaned it up and sold it as new. Well, this rather
peeved Grandpa, and so he subsequently refused to let the
distributor ship take the 60 HP Case engine he had traded on the
80. The 60, which by this time was 20 or more years old, sat along
the fence row for many years and eventually was scrapped for the
World War II effort.
Frank did custom sawing each spring with the 80 on his farm with
a No. 2 Howell mill, and threshing in the surrounding area,
sometimes for up to 80 days in a season, with a 36' wooden
Minneapolis separator with wing feeders, until his death in 1930;
at that time my dad, Bill, at age 18, took over as head of the
family, which included his mother, one brother and six sisters.
Bill continued custom threshing and sawing with the engine until
1939, when it and the wooden separator were replaced by a 1919 10
ton Holt Caterpillar and a 36' Huber steel separator, also with
wing feeders. For several years, the 80 was steamed up each fall to
clean this threshing rig. It sat at its old resting place at the
end of the barn until 1952, when Bill and Gust decided to get it
going again. They used it on the sawmill that year and the next
with Gust as engineer. Then it was once again retired.